Search Engine Optimisation can sometimes be a tricky one – but it’s vital for growing your organic website traffic!
Without SEO you aren’t going to rank highly on search engine results pages (SERP’s), which means your target audience and ideal users won’t be finding your website!
Have a think about how often you scroll through all the way to page ten on Google when searching for something. You don’t do it very often, do you? Which means all of those websites on the lower pages of Google and other search engines are getting very little traffic!
If you’re not focusing on your SEO, you could end up in the same little wooden boat as these websites that are sinking deeper and deeper down the results pages, while your competitors sit comfortably on their strongly-built SEO yachts or on their Google Ads life rafts reeling in all of the traffic!
We’ve put together this article as a guide to help you improve your SEO to achieve a higher ranking on search engines and help grow your organic website traffic!
Build Quality Backlinks
Backlinks are an incredibly valuable part of the SEO strategy and give you a better chance of being found by web crawlers and help to build link equity and domain authority on your website.
In simple terms, a backlink is a hyperlink (this could be a linked piece of text, an image, or a button) on another website domain that links back to your website. Search engine crawlers find these links and use them to form a better picture of what your website is about, and where it should rank in search engine results.
The more high-quality links you have (links from relevant, high-ranking, trusted websites) pointing towards your website, the more likely you’ll be to rank higher for related keywords and phrases.
Links like these act as a sort of vote of confidence from those websites and pass on link equity or ‘link juice’ to your website that can improve how search engine bots view the quality of your website.
While quantity is a factor, the relevance and quality of your backlinks should always be your top priority in your link building strategy. Aim to earn backlinks from high domain authority websites that are trusted by search engines and closely linked to your industry, rather than going for quick wins from random, sketchy sources that could end up harming your SEO efforts rather than helping!
The emphasis should always remain on the quality of each link that you gain.
Starting to consistently gain these quality links from well-trusted sites is one of the biggest ways you can step up your external SEO game and make your website’s authority!
Maintain a Flow Fresh Content
Search engines love websites that are up to date with fresh and relevant content!
Google and other search engines want to show the most relevant and up-to-date information to their users, which means if you’re not regularly updating your website with fresh content, you can start to lose your position in the search results!
A great way to keep getting fresh content onto your website, is with a blog!
With a blog, you can easily create new posts for your website on current topics, develop in-depth guides and how-to articles, and even repurpose and update older articles other forms of content you have.
Posting fresh content and updating older pieces of content on your website shows search engines that you are actively providing new information to your users and gives you the opportunity to include more relevant keywords on your website, generate more traffic from people searching for answers that your content provides, and can even help you generate natural backlinks if people link back to your content as a source!
A few things to note when creating fresh content are:
Make sure your content is timeless – including publishing dates in your content or using dates in your titles e.g. ‘Top Tips for Recruiters in 2020’ can mean your content can look out of date after a while, either regularly update your content to keep it fresh or create timeless content that doesn’t go stale!
Quality over quantity – although it’s important to post new content regularly, you should always focus on creating valuable, relevant content that engages your audience, rather than low-quality posts that they click off straight away, this is an indicator to search engines that your content is poor quality or just isn’t relevant!
Make sure you’re promoting your content! – When you’re posting new content, remember to promote it! Getting as many eyes on your content as you can increase the chances of gaining natural backlinks and generates more traffic!
Optimise Meta Descriptions and Titles
Search engines love great user experience, and your meta titles and descriptions are the first things users come across when searching the internet!
The titles and descriptions help to summarise and give users an idea of what the website page is about, so they can make an informed decision to click the link if they believe it answers their search query. It’s important these are optimised to entice users to click through, with an accurate description and title so prospects are clicking your website over competitors in the search results.
Despite their importance in improving website click-through rates, they are often neglected by people that are unaware of their importance, as the optimisations don’t directly have the biggest impact on SEO or search ranking position.
As we mentioned at the start of this point, search engines love great user experience, so aside from helping to entice users to click on your website in the search results, making sure your metadata contains the right keywords for that page and is within the recommended length, shows search engines that you are keeping an eye on user experience which plays a role in their process of judging the quality of your website.
Alt-text is yet another instance where you can improve user experience and get some extra brownie points from search engines as well!
Alt-text is an accessibility feature that helps visually impaired website users understand the contents and context of images by giving screen readers an accurate description of the image.
Implementing accurate, good quality alt-text (free of any blatant keyword stuffing or relevancy issues) is great for user experience and once again shows search engines that you are dedicated to making a good user experience.
Also from an SEO perspective, web crawlers can’t see images, so providing an accurate description and context of your images allows search crawlers more accurately index images from your website, helping you to rank on more key terms related to your alt-text.
To save yourself some time, it’s important to remember that not every image will need alt-text, like decorative images or images that have descriptive captions. Only add alt-text to images that don’t have any context given in the text and will actively add value to the reader’s experience and for search engine crawlers!
Improve Page Loading
A slow-running website is never good for the user experience!
It’s extremely important that your website loads quickly and without any tedious loading wheels! Users don’t have much patience or time to wait around for your website to load, and they’re likely to leave the page and look for something quicker if each page on your website is taking too long to load.
Having a slow website can result in a high bounce rate, where visitors immediately leave your site without taking any other action - and search engines pick up on this which can have a negative impact on your SEO!
It’s especially important for businesses to consider their loading times across all platforms, not just your speed on desktop. In fact, 74% of US mobile users would abandon mobile
websites that don’t load within just five seconds!
So, when optimising the load times of your website, always keep in mind the variety of platforms your audience will be using to get to your site and how these load times differ!
Often the main cause of lengthy loading times can be the sheer number of images or videos on a page, and if these images and videos all have large file sizes, it can really start to slow your site speed down!
Try compressing your images to under 1MB in size before adding them to your website to save space and speed up loading times!
One of our previous clients once had a webpage with over 40 images from their previous client projects, which the vast majority of them over 5MB! That’s over 200MB of images just on one page, without counting all of the other written content that the page was loading each time! After compressing each of these images into the KB range or just over 1MB, their page loading time was cut in half!
It’s also a good idea to check whether any internal code issues or scripts are causing page loading times, and troubleshooting the problems before they make an impact on your search ranking!
To Wrap Up…
We hope this article has been useful to some of the SEO beginners out there and has given you an insight into a few of the foundation factors of external and internal optimisations that you can make to drastically improve your position in search engines and improve your user experience!
If you’re looking to get a new website off the ground and with some fantastic internal optimisation structures in place, get in touch to learn more about our Website Development service and how we can help you turn your dream website design into an SEO-friendly reality!